Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clay Council members approves $30,000 street paving project

Project won't touch what officials call the “worst street in town”

J-E Editor

Last Tuesday, Clay Council members voted to proceed with a paving project, but tight funding and needs in other areas resulted the approval of fewer improvements than they were originally seeking.

Ware Trucking of Providence will handle the approximately $30,000 project, which will West Short Street and roughly half of Nall Street resurfaced. The original job bid called for all of Nall Street to be repaved, along with West Short and First Street, but that was going to cost the city in excess of $80,000.
City employee Frank Rienhart told the council that First Street was ‘the worst street in town’, but council members were worried about water lines in that area.
“We have a lot of water line breakages on First Street,” said councilman Paul Cowan. “If we put blacktop down, we’ll continue to have breaks and within two or three years we will be back where we are now.”

“We have been in that line several times,” Rienhart agreed. “We’d love to get a new waterline in there, but that is way down our list of priorities. We wont be digging it up to replace it anytime soon.”

Ware bid paving First Street at $38,000, and with only $39,000 in the city’s street fund, the council decided it couldn’t justify using their entire budget on one street which would likely have to be dug up again soon.

Initially the council voted to approve $15,500 worth of sidewalk repairs and replacements, but that decision was quickly overturned when Rienhart presented a request for funds to re-engineer the city’s water tank. Council members agreed that the water tank project had to take priority.

Earlier this year, Paul Stone, the Director of Public Works for the city, told council members that the city’s water tank needed new mixing valve. Due to regulations on water purity, the city is constantly raising and lowering the water levels in the tank to get as much old water out as possible.

Unfortunately, that process doesn’t get much of the water that rests at the top of the tank.
This is caused by the water entering and leaving the tank through the same valve, which is at the bottom of the tank. Occasionally the water department has to overflow the tank in order to get rid of the water at the top, which results in a significant water loss.
Integrity Tank Service of Henderson presented a plan that would allow the city to redesign the tank’s inner workings for $24,350, rather than buying a mixing valve that would cost between $30,000 and $58,000. The new plan will add a fill valve and the top of the tank, while using the valve at the bottom for draining purposes. That should allow the water department to improve water quality in the tank without wasting as much water.
Rienhart told the council that it would also improve water quality enough that the city would probably only have to flush lines about hal as much, which would save on additional water loss.

In other business, the city continues to recoup back taxes owed to it by Clay residents and property owners. According to city clerk Julianna Rhye, one such bill has not been paid since 2000. That property owner currently owes the city $2,207.
Council members agreed to a plan that would allow those owing back taxes to enter into a payment plan with the city. Anyone wishing to do so must pay one complete year’s at a time, and are expected to have their bill paid in full by September 16, 2016. The city clerk’s office can be contacted for more details.

 at 270-667-2068 or

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